IS URINARY INCONTINENCE AFFECTING YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE?
One of the most common urinary problems experienced by women is the involuntary loss of urine. In fact, women experience incontinence twice as often as men. For some women, it’s a few drops while running or coughing. Others lose urine for no apparent reason while suddenly feeling the urge to urinate. Urine loss can also occur during sexual activity and cause tremendous emotional distress. The frequent need to urinate even prevents some women from participating in normal activities. Bladder control issues range from slightly annoying to completely debilitating. It’s a quality of life issue that women should discuss with a urologist. There are many causes and many treatment options to consider. No single treatment works for everyone, but many women can find improvement, often without surgery.
THE ANSWER MAY BE EASIER THAN YOU THINK…
We understand that it can be difficult to talk with a doctor about these very personal symptoms. You are not alone. Our staff and physicians will do everything possible to make you completely comfortable. All discussions and information shared with our professionals are completely confidential.
A Genesis Female Urologist can assist you in determining the underlying cause of your condition and offer a variety of solutions that meet your personal needs and lifestyle. There is a wide range of choices and we will help you find the options that are right for you. Evaluation starts with a private, confidential questionnaire, followed by the appropriate diagnostic tests to determine how your bladder is functioning, including:
- URINALYSIS, and urine culture are done to rule out the possibility of urinary tract infection.
- POST VOID RESIDUAL (PVR) measurement using sophisticated ultrasound equipment to assess bladder emptying
- CYSTOSCOPY is a state of the art fiber-optic scope that allows the urologist to inspect the lining of the urethra and the bladder including the sphincter and identify any abnormality in the bladder and urethra.
- URODYNAMICS is a state of the art test that uses sophisticated electronic equipment and a computer to evaluate your bladder function, and define the exact nature of the problem causing your symptoms.
Once the underlying cause of your problem is clearly identified, your Genesis Urologist will thoroughly discuss with you the diagnosis, and the variety of treatment options available and help you determine the choice that is best for you.
Stress Incontinence is urinary leakage that occurs with physical activities such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, lifting, and standing up or any form of exercise or sports. The major cause of this form of incontinence is the damage that may occur to the urinary sphincter and pelvic muscles during pregnancy and childbirth, or after menopause due to loss of estrogen, and after hysterectomy.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR URINARY INCONTINENCE
A wide spectrum of treatment options are available for this form of urinary incontinence including:
- Pelvic muscle exercises (also known as KEGEL Exercises)
- BIOFEEDBACK (pelvic muscle training)
- Transurethral injection of bulking agent
- Transurethral Radiofrequency treatment (RENESSA)
- Surgical alternatives such as vaginal sling procedures
Pelvic muscle exercises (KEGEL Exercises)
First published in 1948 by Dr. Arnold Kegel, Kegel exercises are designed to strenthen the pelvic floor and reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence. Kegel exercises consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor. Just as a personal trainer improves the results of your exercise regimen, it is important to learn the right way to contract the pelvic muscles in order to make these exercise effective. At Genesis we offer tools such as Biofeedback to teach you to perform Kegal exercises correctly.
BIOFEEDBACK (pelvic muscle training)
The challenge with Pelvic muscle exercises (KEGEL Exercises) is that it can be difficult to know for sure if you are doing them correctly and that you are actually exercising the right muscle. Many women who try Kegel exercises don’t achieve the results they want and often give up too soon. Biofeedback helps you perform these exercises in a manner that is truly engaging the muscles of the pelvic floor. In addition, you will be able to measure your progress and determine the strength of your Kegel contractions over time. Biofeedback is an excellent tool that helps many women achieve positive results and is available through your Genesis Female Urology Specialist.
Transurethral injection of bulking agent
Injectable therapy using bulking agents offer a minimally invasive alternative for women with stress urinary incontinence due to intrinsic sphincteric deficiency (ISD) when weakness of the smooth muscle around the urethra (the tube from which urine flows) occurs. This weakness results in a partial opening of the urethra that allows urine to come out with minimal physical activities. Injectable agents have been used to manage stress urinary incontinence for more than a decade. These injections augment the urethral wall and help close the urethra to prevent urinary incontinence. A Genesis Female Urology Specialist can help evaluate if this simple office-based procedure is right for you.
Transurethral Radiofrequency treatment (RENESSA)
Renessa utilizes radiofrequency energy to deliver low temperature controlled heat to firm the urethral sphyncter. The gentle heat from this 10-minute treatment firms the natural collagen in your tissue and increase your bladder’s ability to resist leaks. Patients are typically back to normal activities within a day and start to see improvement within 60 to 90 days. A Genesis Female Urology Specialist can perform this simple procedure within the comfort of the doctor’s office.
Vaginal sling procedures
A vaginal sling creates a hammock of support and to prevent the urethra from opening when you cough, laugh, or sneeze. This surgical procedure involves placing a piece of material (synthetic mesh, your own tissue or human graft tissue) under the urethra.
The graft material will be incorporated into your own tissue to reduce and or eliminate urinary incontinence. If less invasive treatments fail to solve your problems with urine leakage, surgery may be your best option. A Genesis Female Urology Specialist can help you evaluate the risk and benefits of surgery and other treatment options to find the solution that works for you.